November 3, 2003 - Posted at 7:59 a.m. CDT
HOT SPRINGS, AR - A handful of rural public school districts are beginning a new initiative in an effort to meet accreditation standards. The schools are partnering with the Arkansas School for Mathematics and Science in Hot Springs. The 14 districts will use audio, video and computer technology to offer new courses for students, training for teachers, and conferences for parents and teachers.
Some of the rural districts are already making plans to share teachers, making it easier to meet accreditation requirements and avoid consolidation.
The math and science school recently received a million dollars in federal grants that will allow more schools to link into distance education classes. The three grants will buy equipment for the 14 districts.
Governor Huckabee has proposed closing smaller high schools if they cannot offer an adequate education in an efficient way.